On Saturday, the media got its first glimpse of Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 9. The problem is, it’s just not on the practice field.
Richardson has been working on the exercise bike on the sidelines, which, with the start of the regular season only a week away, should be worrisome. However, the Browns are staying as optimistic as possible.
“He’s very close,” said Browns coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s done a lot behind the scenes that I haven’t talked about. We’re hopeful that he’ll be out here very soon. I’m very optimistic based on what I’m seeing behind the scenes.” (source: Cleveland.com)
General manager Tom Heckert also has confidence in Richardson’s rehabilitation abilities, nothing that if anyone could come back this soon after knee surgery, it would be Richardson.
But there is still the question of whether or not he will play in the season opener. Shurmur and the coaching staff can be as optimistic as possible, but fans should brace themselves for a very limited workload and, perhaps, a complete absence of Richardson.
It’s also possible that the Browns are simply being as cautious as possible, not leaving anything to chance (though practices hardly have any contact at all). The team is going to be relying heavily on Richardson, with him likely being the difference between a one- or two-win season and something far more respectable. With that in mind, remaining overly cautious is certainly in the team’s best interest.